Saturday, January 16, 2010

Brisket Chimichanga

After smoking that gargantuan beef brisket at Christmas, we packaged the leftovers in vacuum seal bags and froze some for later use. Later is today.

This is one of my favorite uses for leftover brisket but also works for pulled pork and chicken.

Brisket Chimichanga

2 -3 slices smoked beef brisket
2 ea flour tortilla, burrito size
1/2 cup shredded cheese
6 TB ranch dressing
2 TB salsa
2 TB butter
1/2 cup long grain rice
1/4 ea red onion, diced
1 ea tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup water
1 TB tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon sugar

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Saute onion for 5 minutes. Add rice and continue sauteing for another 2-3 minutes. You know it's ready when the rice begins to turn golden and releases an aromatic nutty smell.

Add the water, tomato paste (I normally whisk the paste and water together before adding), tomatoes, oregano, and sugar. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to as low as possible yet still remain at a simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Avoid opening or stirring. After the 20 minutes, remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork, replace cover and let cool covered.

Mix the ranch dressing and salsa together to make a "mexi-ranch sauce".

Reheat your brisket slices. I prefer to do this by brushing them with maybe a tablespoon of beef stock, wrapping the slices in foil and placing them in foil in the oven while I'm preheating a deep cast iron skillet. Take the slices out as soon as they are warm to the touch and chop them up.

Put about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the rice mixture on a tortilla. Top with half of the meat, cheese and a tablespoon or so of the mexi-ranch sauce.

Wrap the burrito closed. Here's how I roll my burritos for deep frying. I'm not an expert by any means but this works for me and I haven't had one fall apart during cooking yet.

To roll a burrito well, you want to start with a tortilla that's like a great kiss, soft and warm. A cold, dry tortilla will break instead of folding. Warm it for a few seconds (9 for me) in a microwave between two moist paper towels. Place your filling in a line to the side. Mix a "food glue" with equal parts flour and cold water. Looking at the tortilla like a clock, brush a bit of the glue from about 11 o'clock clockwise to about 7 o'clock.

Fold the short side of the tortilla over the mixture.

Fold the top and bottom of the tortilla in as shown. It will kind of resemble an envelope here.

Now roll up the mixture filled side over the empty side like this.

You should now have a burrito with neatly tucked ends, ready to be turned into a chimichanga.

Remove the preheated skillet from then oven and on the stove top, add vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Test for readiness by dropping a small torn piece of tortilla. If it bubbles and sizzles, it's ready for cooking.

Carefully place the burritos seam side down into the oil and let cook until they are golden brown (about 2 minutes). Flip and cook the other side until golden brown (usually less time, like 1:45 seconds).

Remove to a raised rack or a plate with paper towels to drain for a few minutes. Slice on a bias and serve with extra rice and mexi-ranch sauce or a salsa verde for dipping.

Summer: Anyway, I think I'd be a great class president. So, who wants to eat chimichangas next year? Not me. See, with me it will be summer all year long. Vote for Summer.

Bite me Summer, I'm voting for Pedro.

Versus: Burrito or Chimichanga?


  1. Oh man, you are killing me over here Chris! I just admitted to using pork loin for pulled pork to stay lean and low fat and you go and temp me with deep fried Chimichangas! And on top of that you just had to mention that I could use my leftover pulled pork to makes these! Next thing you know you'll be offering me a cold beer to go with it - ACK!

    This looks seriously delicious Chris :-)

    I definitely chose Chimichangas over burritos any day!

  2. Looks great Chris - we like them but have never made ourselves. As easy as you made it look, may have to give it a try as we always have tortillas and smoked meat around. Nice job.

  3. Ahhh, food I can wrap my lips around! Yee Hah! I am leaving early morning and made my son brisket and pork ribs. We made taquitos last week from chuck roast...I have to say he and I admit we would take down an animal and do all the work it takes to feed our village!

  4. YUM - looks good!! I love Mexican food.

  5. Oh man those look good! And I love how you compared the tortilla to a great kiss :)

  6. Hey, I had a chimichanga at a local restaurant tonight. I'd hate to think how many I would eat if I actually learned to make them myself.

  7. Awesome! Perfect for leftover brisket. Love it.

  8. I LOVE this post, Chris! I love the food, the photos, the explanation and yes, I also loved the steamy dialog. ;)

    There just isn't any good Mexican food up here and I miss it.

  9. First of all, they look awesome! Why go out and pay for them when you can make them so well at home :D I love how you make a "food glue", pretty genius. Chimichangas are definitely better than burritos, although you'd never see me pass up either of them.

  10. That just looks perfect and boy I'll bet it was delicious with a smoked brisket! Last time I made a huge oven braised brisket, I thought I would have all kinds of leftovers - I got to make exactly ONE pasta dish with leftover brisket because The Cajun ATE it ALL!!! He loved it, and I can imagine he would be head over heels in love with a smoked one. Maybe some day...

  11. I love things you can pick up in one hand and go down on, I mean eat.

  12. Love Chimis- You did beyond good!

  13. I say Chimichanga! Even if I can't spell it. GREG

  14. WOW! That's all I can think of to write.

    Are you serving this Super Bowl Sunday when we all come to your house for the big game party? ;-)

  15. Hi Chris

    I was wondering what your republishing policy is for your wonderful recipes - I run a South African food website -

    Please contact me at if you allow republishing as I'm sure your recipes would be well received by our readers!

    - Caitlin

  16. Great idea Chris!! I am going to have to make me some Chimichangas.

  17. You know, your blog is tough on a guy who should be dieting! How I love Brisket!

    Keep up the good work on you blog. - David

    Aloe Vera 101
    Holistic Health Info.
    Healthy Recipes

  18. sounds good and easy going to try it

  19. Those look sooo good! I wonder if you can just pan fry them in a an oil slicked pan instead of that half inch of oil?

  20. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard.

  21. Great job Chris, I love chimichangas even as I avoid eating them for self-preservation reasons.

  22. Oh you, tortilla like a kiss. And I love the photos for folding the tortilla. I have never used the 'paste' for sealing a tortilla, but that will for sure fix mine - thanks as always for the tips!

  23. I'd like to place my order now...I'm hungry


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